Skip navigation
We Are Union VTHC
We Are Union Journal
News from the working class
Featured:
McKell Report finds bad bosses are driving apprenticeship drop outs

Why We Love Radio 3CR

[Image description: A bold, colourful illustration of the 3CR building, depicting workers pulling each other into a giant ball in the sky, which is tied to a slingshot, ready to be catapulted out in the world.]Image credit: Sam Wallman

[Image description: A bold, colourful illustration of the 3CR building, depicting workers pulling each other into a giant ball in the sky, which is tied to a slingshot, ready to be catapulted out in the world.]

Image credit: Sam Wallman

When Nelson Mandela came to Melbourne in 1990, 3CR was the only station to live-broadcast his speech to the trade union movement, thanking them for their support. 

When more than 1400 MUA members were suddenly sacked in 1998, 3CR programmers worked around the clock to broadcast their struggle, putting the call out for unionists to head to East Swanson Dock upon getting word that police planned to storm the picket. 

And when it was revealed that ASIO agents had infiltrated 3CR in the late 90s, posing as presenters on Tuesday Breakfast, 3CR management sent Victoria Police an invoice for the radio training its employees had apparently received.    

3CR’s 10-volume ASIO file, entitled ‘Propaganda Methods of 3CR Community Radio Melbourne’ is a vindication of the power of political, independent media.  

Bursting onto the Melbourne airwaves on July 3, 1976, 3CR was Australia’s first ever community-owned and operated radio station. It currently has no less than six different union radio programs, alongside a slate crammed with everything from spoken word, music and film shows to alternative news, and hundreds of beautiful, diverse voices from our community every week. So to celebrate 3CR’s 2021 Radiothon we asked station stalwarts Gab Reade and Annie McLoughlin to share some of their favourite eps of all time.  

3CR Podcasts That Unionists will Love 

1. Solidarity Breakfast - Jack Mundey Remembered 

Vivien Langford reports from the Sydney memorial for the late, great unionist, environmentalist and Communist Jack Mundey. From the 5:50 mark, this wonderful episode features the voice of comrade Mundey himself, reflecting on the the BLF’s Green Bans activism in Sydney:  

“Of course the left-wing unions have a rich tradition in this country of fighting for things, but the Builders Labourers went a bit further… What is the good of winning higher wages and better conditions if we live in cities devoid of parks, denuded of trees?” 

A wonderful listen for unionist history buffs who love their parks.  

2. Accent of Women – After Invasion Day  

A fantastic conversation about change, solidarity and activism with organisers of the Melbourne Invasion Day Rally, Meriki Onus and Crystal McKinnon, from the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance. Among other things, Meriki talks about the campaign for families who’ve lost loved ones in custody to meet with the Prime Minister:   

“It’s not lost on the families that it may be a fruitless exercise, it’s about the action. It’s marking the anniversary and shining light on the failures of the last 30 years... It’s so important for those of us in the activist and organising space, to listen to people with lived experience. They have insights we don’t.”  

3. Asia Pacific Currents: The Rana Plaza collapse, 3 years on 

In this heartbreaking interview, Josh Cullinan, Secretary of the Australia Bangladesh Solidarity Network, describes the Rana Plaza disaster which killed 1130 workers – and the ongoing challenges for the labour movement in Bangladesh.   

“Some of the young women were told by government officials that it was safe to work there, other workers were threatened with no pay if they didn’t return and other workers were simply beaten back in. It didn’t take long before there were cracking sounds and big vibrations… and then the lights went out and the building collapsed at 8.57am.” 

4. 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence  

OK, so we cheated a tiny bit here – this single link actually takes you to 16 days of special broadcasts. On the Stick Together ep, you’ll hear from Mich-Elle Meyers about MUA’s commitment to stop gendered violence in the work place. Solidarity Breakfast serves up a special broadcast from Slutwalk 2020, Monday Breakfast talks to a researcher about the troubling gender effects of digital home devices such as Siri and Alexa, and Wednesday Breakfast explores the "double disadvantage" that many women with disabilities experience. This really is 3CR at its finest.  

5. Union history galore on the 3CR website 

You got us again. We’ve rolled a handful of our favourite history listens into this last one here. Remember back in 2012 when the nurses held rolling strikes to demand the Baillieu Government improve nurse/midwife patient ratios? 3CR captured that union struggle here. Then there’s 3CR’s incredible coverage of the 2000 S11 World Economic Forum protests, the TAFE4All campaign and the special broadcast commemorating 50 years of the Westgate Bridge disaster.  

If you can, donate to 3CR’s 2021 Radiothon so our comrades can keep making community media equitable, accessible and truly independent. And don’t forget to check out all the mighty union shows on 3CR, like Stick TogetherFire Up MUAFire UP PPTEUSolidarity BreakfastConcrete Gang and Asia Pacific Currents.  

[Image description: a photograph of the ‘Defend What You’ve Got Rally’, November 1992, featuring activists carrying a large Radio 3CR banner.] CAPTION: Defend What You’ve Got Rally, November 1992. Photo: Denis Evans 

[Image description: a photograph of the ‘Defend What You’ve Got Rally’, November 1992, featuring activists carrying a large Radio 3CR banner.] 

Defend What You’ve Got Rally, November 1992. Photo: Denis Evans 

When Nelson Mandela came to Melbourne in 1990, 3CR was the only station to live-broadcast his speech to the trade union movement, thanking them for their support. When more than 1400 MUA members were suddenly sacked in 1998, 3CR programmers worked around the clock to broadcast their struggle, putting the call out for unionists to head to East Swanson Dock upon getting word that police planned to storm the picket. And when it was revealed that ASIO agents had infiltrated 3CR in the late 90s, posing as presenters on Tuesday Breakfast, 3CR management sent Victoria Police an invoice for the radio training its employees had apparently received.    

Subscribe